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Science of Addiction & Treatment

UTC - Curriculum 1 & 2

Organized by :
Ecolink Institute of Well-being, India 

(Approved Training Provider of the Colombo Pan and ISSUP- Global) 

Curriculum developed by:

The Colombo Plan Drug Advisory Program &

INL, US Department of State 

ICAP Examination conducted by:



ICAP Credentialing by:

Global Center for Credentialing and Certification (GCCC)

Our Trainers:

Colombo Plan certified Global Trainers

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Why choose us?

  • Internationally recognized Evidence-based curriculum.

  • International award winner for “Excellence in Training Provision” (by ISSUP-Global, 2022) 

  • Globally renowned expert trainers.

  • Membership with ISSUP

  • Enhanced CV with a global certification

  • International Alumnus from more than 20 countries  

  • Over 250 pages of Resource materials funded by the US Government

  • International Alumnus from more than 20 countries  

  • Make a positive impact on your community.

"Share Facts, Save Lives" - the powerful slogan of the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking observed annually on June 26 by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). In line with this global initiative, Ecolink Institute proudly presents a highly regarded Certificate course, "Introduction to Psychoactive Substances and the Science of Addiction." Led by renowned global trainers, this course offers comprehensive insights into the world of psychoactive substances and addiction.


  • Classes are offered Online as instructor-led live sessions at your convenient time. 

  • Total 40 hours of training, all live sessions (No recorded sessions) 

  • The Course begins from August 22, 2023

  • Two sessions a week on Tuesday and Friday (Two hours) in Zoom platform  

  • Sessions by ICAP Certified Global Master Trainers of the Colombo Plan  

  • Medium of Instruction: ENGLISH 


Course Fees:

  • For International participants: USD 90

  • For Indian the fee is Rs 4800

  • A minimum attendance of 80% is mandatory to receive the Certificate of Completion.

Stories from around the Globe 

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Regina Nova Indradewi,

Jakarta, Indonesia

"A great experience as well as very rewarding. At first I was worried because of language barriers, but it seemed that my ...

Anacleto Clent Banaay Jr.jpeg

Anacleto Clent Banaay Jr, Cebu, Philippines

"The online UTC course gave me the opportunity to learn addiction management in a wider perspective ( international perspective).....

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Odireleng Kasale, Botswana, South Africa

"I enrolled to the course very last minute after stumbling across the autumn mind on the ISSUP Facebook page. From....



Welcome to our comprehensive course that addresses the pressing issue of drug prevalence, use, and addiction among today's youth, with a specific focus on the student community. Drug use is often associated with notions of fun, curiosity, peer pressure, celebrations, stress, or easy availability. However, it is crucial to recognize that drug use can escalate into abuse and addiction, profoundly impacting the lives of young individuals and giving rise to mental health issues such as depression, anxiety disorders, phobias, and even violent episodes.


Substance use disorder, classified as a major global mental health issue, leads to millions of deaths annually and gives rise to various health-related ailments. The World Drug Report 2022 by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) reveals that approximately 35.6 million people worldwide suffer from drug use disorders. Additionally, alcohol use accounts for over 3 million deaths each year, while tobacco-related ailments claim the lives of nearly 8 million individuals globally.


Understanding addiction to psychoactive substances is essential, as it is a complex brain disease intertwined with both physical and psychological co-occurring disorders. Given the complexity of addiction, the path to recovery is equally challenging. Hence, our course emphasizes the significance of prevention, highlighting the adage that prevention is better than cure.

The Resource persons
What the participants gain
The Training Design
Training goals
Proposed starting Date
Curriculum 1
Curriculum 2
Curriculum 3
Curriculum 4
Curriculum 5
Curriculum 6
Curriculum 7
Curriculum 8

This course offers a comprehensive overview of the physiology and pharmacology of psychoactive substances, exploring their effects on the brain and how they influence mood, cognition, and behavior. We delve into the consequences of substance abuse on individuals, families, and communities. Furthermore, we provide in-depth knowledge about the science of addiction, along with valuable insights on screening and brief intervention techniques, managing co-occurring mental and medical disorders, and equipping young individuals with effective prevention tools to steer clear of harmful substances. 

Training goals: 

  • To provide participants with an understanding of the physiology of addiction as a brain disease;  

  • To provide participants with information about the pharmacology of psychoactive substances. 

  • To provide participants with an understanding of co-occurring disorders and the process of treatment for SUDs. 

The Training Design: 

The trainers will provide a specific agenda for each module under the Curriculum with trainer-led presentations and discussions, frequent use of creative learner-directed activities, small-group and partner-to-partner exercises and presentations,  reflective writing exercises, periodic reviews to enhance learning retention, and learning assessment exercises. Your active participation is essential to making this a positive and productive learning experience! 

Duration of the training:  Two Month

Eligible groups: Substance Use Disorder professionals, Mental Health Practitioners, Psychologists, Psychotherapists, Social Workers, Psychology students & Recovery coaches

Total Number of Participants: 40

What the participants gain:
  1. A certificate of Completion with transcripts on the topics covered, upon successful completion of the course. 

  2. The students will get a soft copy of the ‘Participants Manual’ for the curriculum with more than 250 Pages of resource materials, PPTs, and reference pages. This Participant Manual  includes the following:  

    • Training goals and learning objectives for the module; A timeline; 

    • PowerPoint slides with space for you to write notes; Resource Pages containing additional information or materials; and 

    • A module summary. 

    • The Participant Manual also has a glossary (Appendix A) and a list of resources (Appendix B) 

  3. Participants will get an orientation about the entire course (8 curriculums) and procedures for international credentialing from GCCC, US.  

  4. The participants can get a student membership to the International Society for Substance Use Professionals (ISSUP) and get a Certificate of membership for free. 

The Resource persons:

At our institute, we are proud to have a team of globally certified trainers for the Universal Treatment Curricula. Our trainers bring extensive expertise in the field, backed by numerous hours of training and counselling experience across various countries worldwide. With their wealth of knowledge and practical insights, they are equipped to deliver top-notch education and guidance to our participants. You can trust in the expertise and professionalism of our trainers as they help you navigate the complexities of addiction treatment and prevention.

  1. Dr Thirumagal V., Global Master Trainer, Colombo Plan 

  2. Ms Aditi Sanika, Global Master Trainer, Colombo Plan 

  3. Dr Damber Nirola, Psychiatrist and Master Trainer, Government of Bhutan 

  4. Mr Francis Moothedan, Global Master Trainer, Colombo Plan 

  5. Dr Thomas Scaria, ICAP Certified Addiction Trainer & Director, Ecolink 

  6. Ms Reshma Malick, ICAP Certified Addiction Trainer  

Moderator: Dr Thomas Scaria, ICAP Certified Addiction Trainer & Director, Ecolink

The Syllabus (Curricula and Modules)

The syllabus is designed by international experts based on evidence-based approaches and years of research. The overall goal of the training series is to reduce the significant health, social, and economic problems associated with substance use disorders (SUDs) by building international treatment capacity through training, professionalizing, and expanding the global treatment workforce. 

Methodology for training

Methodology for training:

Our training sessions are conducted via Zoom video conferences, ensuring convenient access for participants. The session link will be sent to you through email and WhatsApp at least 6 hours prior to the scheduled time.

The interactive training sessions will take place from 6 pm to 8 pm (IST), with a short 5-minute break in between. Our engaging methodology incorporates dynamic PowerPoint presentations, interactive discussions, and activities designed to enhance learning outcomes.

Participants will receive a comprehensive manual that includes detailed PowerPoint slides and instructions. This valuable resource will be provided before the sessions commence, allowing you to prepare and actively engage during the training.


It's important to note that our sessions are live and not pre-recorded. We believe in the power of real-time interaction and learning. Alongside the Zoom sessions, participants are encouraged to complete prescribed activities, and assignments, and refer to the provided reference materials and participant manual for further study.


By combining various learning approaches, we ensure a holistic and immersive training experience that enables you to acquire knowledge and skills effectively. Get ready to engage, learn, and grow with our comprehensive training methodology.

Background of the Universal Treatment Curriculum:

The Universal Treatment Curriculum for Substance Use Disorders is an 8 Curricula syllabus with 48 modules developed for the U.S. Department of State Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) by global experts.

Background of the Agencies:

Colombo Plan Drug Advisory Program: 

The Colombo Plan Drug Advisory Program (CPDAP) was established in 1973, as the Colombo Plan’s response to the growing drug-related concerns in the Asia-Pacific region. CPDAP is the oldest Colombo Plan program, which has completed 50 years as an inter-governmental organization to counter substance use disorder. Recognizing the importance of cooperation among agencies, CPDAP brings together government, non-government and international organizations to identify gaps in Drug Demand and Supply Reduction and come up with a coordinated and unified response to the health and social problems related to Substance Use Disorders. As a pioneer in drug demand reduction in the region, CPDAP has assisted the Colombo Plan member countries in drug policy formulation, encouraging national efforts in drug demand and supply reduction programs. CPDAP also advocates for the use of evidence-based practices in substance use disorder (SUD) treatment and prevention and empowers SUD professionals through the provision of technical assistance. Ecolink Institute is an approved training provider by ISSUP-Global. 

The International Society of Substance Use Professionals (ISSUP) (

The International Society of Substance Use Prevention and Treatment Professionals (ISSUP) is a global, not-for-profit, non-government organisation to support the development of a professional drug demand reduction workforce. It is a free, international, membership organisation, bringing together the range of workers from the prevention, treatment and recovery fields to inform, connect and strengthen their research, practice and policy-making.

ISSUP had been able to implement its activities in consultation with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the World Health Organization (WHO), the Organization of American States (OAS), and the African Union.  

Global Center for Credentialing and Certification (GCCC):

( )

The Global Center for Credentialing and Certification (GCCC) is established by the Colombo Plan and the INL, US Department of State for promoting certified and qualified SUD professionals around the globe. Those participants completing UTC or UPC can get credentialed by the GCCC by attending an online examination conducted by the GCCC from time to time. The Headquarters of GCCC is in London, UK and it envisions a world where everyone has access to quality services that promote the health and well-being of individuals, families, and communities. GCCC provides experience verification and appropriate exams to ensure that Governments and other employers are hiring and utilizing the most qualified professionals to improve the likelihood of positive outcomes for individuals, families and communities. Ecolink Institute is an approved training provider by ISSUP-Global. 

Ecolink Institute of Well-being: 


Located in Mangalore, India, Ecolink Institute is an approved Training Provider recognized by esteemed organizations such as the Colombo Plan, the International Society for Substance Use Professionals (ISSUP), the Global Center for Credentialing and Certification (GCCC), and the International Society of Substance Use Professionals. We specialize in offering international courses on Substance Use Disorder, including the renowned Universal Treatment Curricula (UTC) and Prevention Curricula (UPC).


As a centre for psychological wellness, counselling, education, and training, Ecolink Institute is dedicated to promoting mental health and addiction recovery. Our comprehensive online training programs cater to addiction professionals worldwide. We also manage ARCO (Addiction Recovery Coach Online), an innovative therapy platform for addiction treatment, organize Recovery Rejuvenation Camps, and operate a specialized Geriatric care unit.


Guided by an Indian management board and an esteemed International Consultative Committee, including Dr Thomas Scaria (Founder Director), Mr Ronnie Scarl Thomas (Secretary), Dr Thulitha Wickramage (Psychologist - US), Tomy Mathew (Social Entrepreneur - Sri Lanka), our institute strives for excellence in education and training.


Our International Consultative Committee features distinguished leaders in the field, including Dr Thirumagal V (Training Consultant - India), Mr Guy Paillard (Global Strategist and Training Consultant - UK), Mr John Smith (Overseas Therapy Consultant - Thailand), Mr Johann Coetzer-Liversage (Recovery Support Consultant - US), Odireleng Kasale (Youth Coordinator - Botswana), and Ashwin Tind (Recovery Coach and Trainer - Malaysia).


At the helm of Ecolink Institute is Dr Thomas Scaria, an Internationally Certified Addiction Professional and trainer with over 30 years of experience in India and across Asia. With a profound background in addiction services and his association with the Colombo Plan for nearly a decade, Dr Scaria is also the founding member of the esteemed Link Rehabilitation Center, renowned for its exceptional clinical services in the field since 1992.


Join Ecolink Institute to expand your knowledge, enhance your skills, and make a positive impact in the field of addiction treatment and psychological well-being. Together, let's pave the way for a healthier and happier future.


For more details contact:

Ronnie Scarl Thomas,

Correspondent, Ecolink Institute of Well-being,

Mangalore, India -575008,


Phone: +91 8073168164, Mr Ronnie (WhatsApp) 

 +91 9448327209, Dr Thomas Scaria

Acknowledgements: Universal Treatment Curricula for Addiction Professionals is part of an eight-volume training series developed by the Colombo Plan and funded by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL)

Background of the Universal Treatment Curriculum:

Curriculum 1:

Physiology and Pharmacology for Addiction Professionals​

Module 1—Training Introduction

Module 2—Introduction to Psychoactive Substance Use 

Module 3—The Science of Addiction

Module 4—Social Stigma

Module 5—Substances of Abuse: Characteristics and Consequences

Module 6—Integrating Learning Into  Practice

Curriculum 2 :

Treatment for Substance Use Disorder, Continuum of Care

Module 1—Training Introduction

Module 2— Recovery and Recovery       Management

Module 3_ Factors Affecting Treatment Outcomes

Module 4— Introduction to Motivation and Stages of Change

Module 5— Treatment: An Overview

Module 6— Components of Treatment: The Continuum of Care

Module 7_ Evidence-Based Practices for Treatment Intervention

Module 8 _ Integrating Learning Into Treatment

Ecolink Institute
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